Khorixas’ urban population decrease attributed to a lack of employment and economic activities says report
According to a recently-issued report by First Capital Namibia, the urban population of Khorixas is increasing at a rate lower than both the national urban and regional urban population’s annual growth rates of 4.2% and 3.3% and the regional proportion of the town’s population decreased from 14.5% to 12.4% between 2011 and 2022 while the national proportion decreased from 1.4% in 2011 to 1% in 2022.
First Capital Namibia is a local financial services company, specializing in providing treasury and asset management services for Namibia’s fiscal policy. The company is licensed to manage money for private investors, pension funds, insurance groups, the public sector, and charities.
The report, titled “Khorixas Economic Profile,” revealed that the population of Khorixas is lower than the average national urban population growth, underscoring that the decrease in Khorixas’ urban population attributes to a lack of employment opportunities and economic activities in the town.
As a result, most residents moved to other towns such as Outjo, coastal towns, nearby lodges, and nearby farms in search of job opportunities to sustain their families, according to a report by First Capital, which cited the Khorixas Town Council & Kunene Regional Council.
Furthermore, the report also highlighted that Khorixas’ population grew by 16.5% in 11 years, whereas the local town council estimates showed there were about 11 000 residents in Khorixas in 2022, based on a general estimate of 3,213 households with an average size of 4 persons per households.
The Khorixas report is the 7th economic report in the series. The previous reports included the Economic Profiles of Omaruru, Outapi, Rundu, Mariental, Keetmanshoop, and Opuwo. These reports cover a wide range of topics, including the town’s population, economic structure, and performance, employment, unemployment, education, health, the standard of living, businesses, and tourism.
The report, released this month, estimated the working age size of Khorixas to be 5,464, noting that given an estimated population of 7,917 in the town, the working age population is about 68% of the total Khorixas population.
Moreover, the recent report was compiled and signed by Martin Mwinga, the team leader, Clarinda Kavezuva, a Statistician, and two trainee Economists Achiles Shifidi and Patrick Simasiku. They issued this report with the idea that it would enable the reader and policymakers to answer questions about their town and region and showcase this by giving insights into various factors such as demographics, housing conditions, level of crime, region’s economy, et cetera.
Meanwhile, the purpose of these reports is to provide inputs and guidance to policymakers and those holding the political instruments of power on strategic priorities and the most pressing economic development issues facing Namibia’s towns and regional economies. First Capital launched the first of a series of regional economic profile reports in 2018.
Based on data included in the report, in the Kunene region, 69% of the labour force is informally employed. This is a cause for concern since 69% is much higher than the national level of 58%, said the report.
Interestingly, the report further revealed that a large informal sector is positively correlated with low tax revenues, low productivity as well as high poverty, and inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth.
According to the report, 19% of the population in Khorixas depend on old age pensions, 9% on cash remittances, and 8% on businesses in the town for income. At the same time, only 12% of households in Khorixas derive their income from farming activities, said the report.
In addition, the authors are convinced, based on the data on the sources of income of the town’s residents, that a significant percentage of the population depends on the old age grants.
“Regrettably, the incidence of multidimensional poverty by region in the country is the highest in Kavango East, followed by Kavango West and then Kunene regions with 79.6%, 70%, and 64.1%. On the other hand,!Karas region and Erongo regions are among the regions with the lowest rates for both the incidence and the severity of multidimensional poverty in the country,” the report highlighted.
The report also emphasized that the most common agricultural activities in the Kunene region are small-stock farming including livestock, poultry, and horticulture. In Khorixas, a significant number of residents are involved in crop farming (53%) and livestock (33%), it noted. “Crops and vegetables in and around Khorixas are grown at a lower scale due to low rainfall.”
“Khorixas has a higher proportion of individuals involved in livestock farming (33%) in comparison to the whole country (25%). Furthermore, a small percentage of households in Khorixas is involved in poultry and horticulture, accounting for 2% of each.
Khorixas town is dependent on tourism. It is surrounded by major tourist attraction sites such as Petrified Forest, with tree trunks over 300 million years old situated about 40 kilometers west of Khorixas, Twyfelfontein with its famous rock engravings (a World Heritage site since 2007),” the report stated.